(Beneath the posture - afraid of shadows, most living things, life in general)
Note: In lieu of the events surround today's tragic shooting, I have suspended my usual weekend posts and am re-posting this entry from August 2009. It only seems logical. Gordon.
With all the talk, all the hate all the posturing going on - not only about the current Health Care debate, but our current state of life and society in general, I was wondering if this was anything new, some new direction our society had suddenly and dangerously taken.
Regrettably, no. As is evidenced in this documentary, part of the Second Sunday series produced for NBC Radio on March 3, 1969 - we've been a country fed on fear, hate and paranoia for a very long time. It appears to have cropped up in our DNA.
Frank McGee (Narrator): “Have we had time to become, or do we care to become something other than a collection of irresponsible individuals, having in common little more than a toleration, if not an endorsement of violence?”
Arthur Schlesinger Jr. “We are today the most frightening people on this planet. The ghastly things we do to our own people, the ghastly things we do to other people, these must at least compel us to look searchingly at ourselves and our society before hatred and violence rushes on to more evil, and finally tear our nation apart. . . . we cannot blame the epidemic of murder at home on deranged and solitary individuals, separate from the rest of us. For these individuals are plainly weak and suggestible men stamped by our society with a birth rite of hatred and a compulsion toward violence. We must recognize, I believe that the evil is in us, that it springs from some dark intolerable tension in our history and our institutions. It is almost as though some primal curse had been fixed on our nation. We are a violent people with a violent history, and the instinct for violence has seeped into the bloodstream of our national life.”
And considering 1969 was a comparatively good year in retrospect.
Forty years on it's only gotten stranger - or maybe the microscope is looking more closely.
In any event . . .